Recent kwiples

Wednesday 1st of December 2021 Available without prescription™ © 2015
Assholes say This is a America. I don't mean any disrespect. I don't know whether to call you “professor” or “comrade.” John Kennedy, faux redneck and shill for big bankers, echoing a campaign of red baiting launched by Fox News and other right-wing media insinuating that Saule Omarova, Cornell University professor of law, banking industry and gender pay gap criitic and Biden's nominee to be comptroller of the currency, is a communist because she was born and educated in the Soviet Union before emigrating to the United States in 1991 © 2021
Cities A bad neighbor is as great a plague as a good one is a great blessing. Hesiod, Works and Days © 2021
Cities The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity. Lewis Mumford, The City in History © 2021
Citizens United Every piece of this is wrong. Money is not speech. Corporations are not people. And looking at the message and not the messenger would allow any entity's message into our politics, even foreign ones. Then add in anonymity and the problem goes toxic, as we now see in our country today. “We the people” becomes “we the hidden anything with money.” Sheldon Whitehouse, June 8, 2021 © 2021
Cocks of the walk say I am the only instrument that God uses to sing his song. I am only the vessel that nature smilingly fills with new wine. Joseph Goebbels © 2021
Freedom Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows. R. H. Tawney, Equality © 2021
Freedom of the press Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. A. J. Liebling, The New Yorker, May 14, 1960 © 2021
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Money in politics Anonymity, donor anonymity, is essential [to big donors to the Republican Party]. Voters may hate big anonymous donors,  but big anonymous donors need anonymity. The term for this anonymous funding, now pouring by the billions into our politics, is dark money. This [operation to capture the Supreme Court] is a dark money operation. And if you are out to capture a court, you want to be sure the court will protect your dark money, your camouflage for all your covert operations. Sheldon Whitehouse, July 13, 2021 © 2021
Money in politics Drop a rock in a stream and the stream flows around it. Put eager candidates and enormous interested spenders together, and trouble will follow, as it has. Look no further than the corruption of American politics on climate change by the fossil fuel industry. Sheldon Whitehouse © 2021
Money in politics Money talks, Mr. President. Dark money whispers. Sheldon Whitehouse, speaking in the Senate, July 28, 2021 © 2021
Money in politics This effort to capture the Supreme Court — they're not kidding around. Spending $250 million in dark money [from 2014 to 2017] is a serious investment that demands a serious return. And guess what? Expert testimony before my Senate Court subcommitte has since raised that number to $400 million through 2018. Through all these allied and front groups — the keys on the dark money piano that the big money donors can play in chords and singly, as they wish — dark money donors can, from hiding, covertly channel tens if not hundreds of millios of dollars in anonymized money towards the scheme's court capture goal. Sheldon Whitehouse, August 5, 2021, on efforts by the Judicial Crisis Network to make the Supreme Court a tool for use by the right- wing anti-government mega donors it represents © 2021
Post-2020 Senate shituation 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2020 population: 40,085,414 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,336,180 people 1 state (California) 2020 population: 39,368,075 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,684,037 people 19,684,037 / 1,336,180 = 14.7, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth nearly 15 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth less than 7% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2020 population = 582,328, therefore: 1 Senator per 291,164 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 68 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.5% of a Wyomian's  © 2021
Snapshot A hard dog to keep on the porch. Bill Clinton portrayed by Hillary Rodham Clinton © 2021
Snapshot  The apex predator of corporate influence, red in tooth and claw. United States Chamber of Commerce portrayed by Sheldon Whitehouse © 2021
Supreme Court Colleagues, this is a scheme akin in complexity and tradecraft to an intelligence agency covert operation, only this one is not being run by one country against another. This one is being run in and against our own country by a handful of creepy billionaires and their donations trying to impose their self-serving ideology on the rest of us through our least democratic branch, the branch that doesn't care if normal people hate this stuff because they're in robes for life. That's our federal courts, and particularly the Surpeme Court. And the big dark money donors have pretty well pulled it off, too, following Lewis Powell's admonition to use strength in organization and united action. Sheldon Whitehouse, August 5, 2021, on efforts by the Judicial Crisis Network to make the Supreme Court a tool for use by the right- wing anti-government mega donors it represents © 2021
Supreme Court The effort to capture the Court has likely been the most effectual deployment of right-wing and corporate resources into our common American political life, and America is now a very different place as a result of it. Much of it, like the proverbial frog in the proverbial pot, we've even gotten used to and accept it now as normal, when it isn't. Sheldon Whitehouse, June 22, 2021 © 2021
Supreme Court The FBI sacrificed her [Christine Blasey Ford] to the gale force political pressure applied by the [dark money] scheme [to capture the court] to get this well-auditioned nominee [Brett Kavanaugh] into place. And let's get real. You don't apply gale force political pressure for judges who are just going to call balls and strikes. $400 million, $400 million has been spent in dark money on this court capture scheme. For $400 million, you don't want balls and strikes; you want judges who will throw the game for you. You want what you paid for: a captured Court, and if you look at its track record, that's this Court. It's the Court that dark money built, and it's delivering. Sheldon Whitehouse, September 21, 2021, summarizing the history of the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court © 2021
Supreme Court In recent years, the Court has had a lot more friends than it used to. Amici filed 781 briefs in the 2014 Supreme Court term, a more than 800% increase from the 1950s and a 95% increase from just 1995. In the 2010 term, 710 amici briefs were filed in 78 cases. By 2019, that number had swelled to 911 briefs in just 57 cases. … There is another odd feature to this uptick in amicus briefs. Most of the time, you file an amicus brief when the justices have taken a case and are poised to actually decide the outcome of that case — the so-called merit stage of the case, which makes sense because this is when the rulings actually become law. But these days, more and more amici arrive when the Court considers whether to take up a case, when the justices are deciding whether or not to grant certiorari. Sheldon Whitehouse, November 16, 2021 © 2021
Supreme Court Our Supreme Court is awash in dark money influence, with flotillas of dark money front groups, front groups that don't bother to offer value, that aren't even real in the sense that they have a real business or function, that exist merely to signal their donors' desired outcomes while hiding their donors' identities. It's an armada of fakery that the Court indulges. This fakery lets a small, wealthy donor elite manufacture sham allies to get themselves a bigger say at the Supreme Court than everyone else. They are out to get the Court to do stuff for them that Americans don't want and that Congress won't vote for. But, with a captured Court, they can get what they want, and they do. Sheldon Whitehouse, November 16, 2021 © 2021
Supreme Court  The Republican justices on the Supreme Court just established a new constitutional right to donor se- crecy. And they did so for a group — Americans for Prosperity Foundation — flagrantly involved in right-wing political mischief and manipulation. Flagrantly involved. The Americans for Prosper- ity Foundation group's operating entity actually had even spent millions of dollars just last year to help get Justice Barrett confirmed.  They are so brazen about this they actually used  Americans for Prosperity Foundation as the named party, and not some benign entity they could have dredged up. Nope. They took the bet that  this precedent of a politically active manipulator being the named party would not phase the Re- publicans on the Court, and they would be able with that partisan majority to gain a legal foothold for their dark money. Sheldon Whitehouse, July 13, 2021 © 2021
Supreme Court Something is not right around the Court. And dark money has a lot to do with it. Special interests have a lot to do with it. Donors Trust and whoever's hiding behind Donors Trust has a lot to do with it. And the Bradley Foundation orchestrating its amici over at the Court has a lot to do with it. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, October 13, 2020 [Donors Trust is an identity scrubber for rich conservatives] [The Bradley Foundation funds legal cases and amicus briefs under dozens of names per case for conservative clients] © 2020
Supreme Court There is a pattern, a pattern of success when flotillas of dark money amici funded by a small number of wealthy right-wing donors show up, they win. The court that dark money built delivers in their favor. Exhibit A is probably the US Chamber of Commerce, where the idea for this scheme first bubbled up years ago with the Powell memo. Over the past 15 years or so, the Chamber has filed more amici briefs at the Supreme Court than almost anyone else, and it has gotten its preferred result more than 70% of the time. And no one knows what company or  what interest the Chamber may be fronting for. That is hidden from the Court and from the other parties. The Chamber can even hide if one of its members wrote or funded the Chamber's amicus brief in that member's own case. Sheldon Whitehouse, November 16, 2021 © 2021
Supreme Court When big Republican donor interests come before the Court, they win. It looks like every time. I've show the pattern. I've published an article about it. It's currently at 80-0. Sheldon Whitehouse, October 27, 2021 © 2021
Trumpists say If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God and one religion under God, right? Michael Flynn © 2021
Trumpists say Our opponents of judicial nominees frequently claim the president has outsourced his selection of judges. I’ve been a member of the Federalist Society since law school — still am. So, frankly, it seems like it’s been insourced. Don McGahn, November 17, 2017, Trump's White House counsel, to a lawyers convention hosted by the Federalist Society © 2021
Veterans Almost a fifth of those arrested for the assault on Capitol Hill this year were former US military personnel — more than 20 times their share of the population. Edward Luce, Financial Times, September 11, 2021 © 2021